Raiders: Why Carson Palmer Must Be Released


Dec 16, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) gestures against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Palmer is quite a character. After threatening to retire from the Cincinnati Bengals if they did not trade him to another team, he ended up on the West Coast playing for the slumping Oakland Raiders. He has played with Oakland for two seasons now, and with the latest news breaking out that Palmer is “highly unlikely” to restructure his contract for a third time with the Raiders, it looks like his firm attitude will have him gone from yet another team.

Palmer’s first contract restructure came right after Oakland traded for him in 2011, and then he also agreed to a restructured deal last season that helped the Raiders save more than $9 million in salary cap.

The Raiders have already restructured a few contracts this offseason and have also released a few players- most notably  safety Michael Huff and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.

So what should the Raiders do? Does anybody think that Palmer deserves $13 million for this upcoming season? Unless he leads the team to a highly unlikely playoff run, then no, he doesn’t deserve all that money. But maybe with all the contract restructures he already agreed to are now frustrating him, and at this point it seems like he just wants to get paid.

Unfortunately, the Raiders might not be willing to give him the money that he is looking for.

This problem isn’t new, as one of the biggest questions this offseason has been what the Raiders will do with Carson Palmer. Palmer, who just finished his first full season with the Raiders, finished his 2012-2013 campaign with 4,018 passing yards  and 22 touchdowns.Those stats sound pretty good when you add in the fact that he was dealing with a handicapped offense for much of the season, as star running back Darren McFadden and wide receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore all missed a significant amount of time during the season due to lingering injuries.

But at the end of the day, Carson Palmer is a 33-year-old quarterback who has always been dangling between a mediocre and above-average status. With Oakland boasting one of the youngest squads in the NFL, I think it is time for the Raiders to cut Carson Palmer and move along.

Palmer is due over $13 million next season, and with Oakland making so many adjustments to free themselves from the salary cap, it just does not seem likely for them to retain him. Not only that, he does not seem deserving.

To set things straight, I believe that Terrelle Pryor should be the starting quarterback for this young Raiders team. They lack talent up front, so doesn’t a mobile quarterback just sound more logical?  And I can guarantee that Raiders fans are just about fed up with Palmer waiting too long in the pocket to make a play and then getting swallowed up by an opposing defender.

Pryor, the 23-year-old product of Ohio State, brings to the Raiders something that they haven’t had in a while: mobility and versatility at the quarterback position.

With young guys like Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson all coming into the league and making a name for themselves by evading defenders and buying extra time, Pryor should have all the motivation in the world. Those four players are modern-day proof of quarterbacks who can make plays by using their legs are finally having their time to shine.

In his three years at Ohio State, Pryor racked up 2,164 yards and 17 touchdowns all on the ground. His passing game was also very efficient, as he threw for 6,177 yards and 57 touchdowns.

My point is, Pryor has the skill set to become one of the NFL’s most prolific players. He has often been overlooked in his professional career, as he entered the league via the supplemental draft, and has never really received the right opportunity to work with a solid offensive scheme.

Until now.

After a disastrous year with Greg Knapp as the team’s offensive coordinator, Oakland finally pulled the plug and hired Greg Olson, who is in his 27th season in the coaching profession.

Pryor will be able to start completely fresh with a new offensive coordinator, a young and healthy group of teammates,  and the Raiders will finally be able to move on and turn to a whole new chapter of their franchise.

With Palmer not willing to take a pay cut, why would the Raiders want to pay a sluggish 33-year old a whopping $13 million for the following season?